Ann Gray

It was with great sadness that we learned of Ann’s illness  and  her subsequent death on  February  9th . Ann had been a member of the Bedford Flower Arrangement / Floral Art Society  for almost fifty years and had served in almost every office and role  within the society.  In   2000 she was invited to become a vice president of the  Society due to  ‘your enormous contribution to the Society which has been much valued ‘. She was a talented teacher and ran flower arranging evening classes in the local area for many years.  A vast number of our members (both past and present) were introduced to their love of flower arranging at her classes  and she has continued to encourage and motivate us  all over the years. She was also a well respected judge, often officiating at local shows including Young Farmers Rallies where she again motivated and inspired young people.
Ann was well known and respected in the wider ‘flower world ‘, especially in the Home Counties area of NAFAS where she was an area teacher and area judge.  As well as BFAS she supported many local clubs especially their Open Meetings.  She also attended Odyssey 21 and  Designer 3 Group who delighted her last year when they  invited her to be their President.  She  was a very creative and accomplished flower arranger always willing to embrace (and pass on) new ideas and trends.  She was also a very keen and knowledgeable gardener; she could  identify  almost any flower or piece of foliage and was always willing  to ‘pick and prune’ to help demonstrators and arrangers enhance their designs. These were just two of her interests; others included  the church, upholstery, holidays, fine art and good wine – a lady who lived life to the full!
The affection in which Ann was held by everyone was evident by the packed Church at her Service of Thanksgiving  . We shall miss her greatly and we extend our sympathy and condolences to her family and friends.

WAFA Barbados 2017

I was lucky enough to be able to visit Barbados last month for the 12th World Show which was held at the LLoyd Erskine Sandiford Centre in Bridgetown. I visited on the first open day, although the venue was well air conditioned to keep the flowers in good condition for longer. As you went in, the entrance foyer was filled with huge international honorary exhibits – over 25 different countries were represented and many had used flowers in the colour of their national flag. The rest of the venue was filled with competitive entries in 25 classes – there were some wonderful arrangements and lots of exotic flowers and foliage that we rarely see here in the UK.
In the evening I attended a fantastic demonstration from 2 great guys, Dr Solomon Leong from Hong Kong and Craig Bullock from the UK who together filled the stage with a striking display of arrangements. I took lots of photographs and a small selection of them are below.

WAFA Barbados 2017

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Melissa Sheldrake ~ June 2017

We had a really lovely evening last night when Melissa Sheldrake, a National Demonstrator, visited us from her home in the East of England to present a demonstration entitled ‘Flight of Fancy’.  Each of her arrangements depicted either a mode of transport or something that flies and her creations were both unusual and imaginative.  As Melissa worked she chatted about her National Test which she passed at the end of last year, recited poetry related to NAFAS and to flower arranging, played relevant music as well as informed us about the flowers and foliage she was using.  Her husband accompanied her to help move and display the ambitious mechanics Melissa used, all made by her husband!  Some had moving parts, some had hidden extras – all were unique and colourful and the overall effect was wonderful. Melissa kept us thoroughly entertained and we wish her luck in her forthcoming visit to Barbados where she is competing. Shown below are photos of 2 of her arrangements – the magical NAFAS bird and an angel.

Theresa Rodrigues June 2016

We were delighted to welcome Theresa Rodrigues to our June meeting when she presented ‘From Root to Bloom’. It was also good  to see so many members who had braved the tremendous  thunder storms and flooding  to attend the meeting.

In contrast to the weather outside it was lovely to be transported to Malaysia and hear of Theresa’s background and  return visits to her homeland with her family.  There were floral designs representing a childhood memory of a fishing village off the Malacca Strait, the  Petronas Towers, the Night Market in Kuala Lumpar, the Island of Eagles and the  lusciousness of the Botanical Gardens.

All the  stunning, vibrant  arrangements really depicted the landmarks she was describing and  were in wonderful, complimentary containers. Many different types of flowers  were used    including both cymbidium and Singapore orchids, gloriosa lilies, anthuriums, lilies, tuberose, strelitzia and my favourites – tulipa ricocco and a double hydrangea ‘Beauty Pageant’. Foliage was  just as varied and was representative of the  verdant rain forest. Theresa kindly agreed to share one photo with us – guess which landmark this was!

Thank you Theresa for a very enjoyable evening sharing your skill  and your love of flowers with us- we hope you and all the audience had a safe and trouble free journey home.

Workshop with Gill McGregor May 2016

Over twenty members attended the workshop  at Bromham on May 7th.  A  member’s comment of ‘I had a brilliant day and Gill was fantastic, such an inspiration with all her great ideas’ sums up  what was a  really enjoyable and instructive day.

Thank you to Gill  and to Ann G and Penny for organising the day. Just a couple of pictures below to indicate what  some  of us achieved.

Irene Bowkett – May 2016

What an enjoyable evening we had this month when Irene Bowkett presented ‘Curtain Up’.  Her colourful  and    dramatic  designs together with her  energetic, entertaining  and humorous commentary  (in addition to her giving us helpful tips along the way) kept us all relaxed, attentive and amused throughout.

Her arrangements were all associated with  entertainment; we started with a performance of   Buttons and Bows, we payed homage to Carmen Miranda and Liberace and visited performances of The Lion King, Madame Butterfly and Joseph and His Amazing Technicolour Dream Coat.

All the designs were bright and bold. Plant material included soft ruscus, laurel, fern, broom and pussy willow.  Flowers  included Singapore orchids,  gerberas, carnations, anthuriums , Captain arum lilies, Miss Piggy, aqua and grand prix roses, white and green  Anastasia chrysanthemums,  delphiniums and statice. Containers, additional props and extra arrangements (so there were many very happy raffle winners)  all contributed to a stunning stage display at the end of the evening.

The refreshments, sales table and  plant stall all added to the enjoyment of the evening – thank you to  Irene and everyone who worked  hard to make it so successful.

Jonathan Moseley – October 2015

We were so pleased to welcome many friends and visitors to our Open Evening and to see a packed hall for Jonathan Moseley’s ‘In Special Celebration’ presentation as we continued to celebrate our Emerald Anniversary year.
Jonathan’s knowledge and obvious love of flowers and plant material was evident throughout and his commentary was entertaining, interesting and humorous – there was a very relaxed atmosphere to the evening even when there were gremlins within the sound system and lighting!
All the arrangements were very different but equally stunning. The containers varied from milk churns and wire work baskets to straw rings as we celebrated events from parties to Autumn. Many varieties of garden foliage were used and the flowers included strelitzia, orchid, gerbera, sunflowers, roses, gladioli, lisianthus to name a few – we could almost fill a side of paper if we listed them all!
All six main designs were embellished by additional, slightly different arrangements which meant there were very many happy raffle prize winners at the end of the evening. After adding other artefacts and small arrangements, the final stage was a magnificent display of stunning flowers.
The standing ovation at the end of the evening signified everyone’s enjoyment and the audience’s appreciation of Jonathan’s vision, skill and presentation.
Thank you Jonathan for a wonderful evening and to everyone else – committee and helpers who contributed to make the evening such a success.


Members Evening – April 2013

On April 2nd we departed from our usual format of having a NAFAS demonstrator but instead 3 of our Club members each agreed to lead a mini workshop.  Lynn showed us how to make beautiful fragranced ‘flowers’ from slices of citrus fruits, Sandra did a variety of things using just a simple ‘Supermarket’ bunch of flowers and Ann created modern vertical arrangements again with a ‘supermarket’ bunch.  After a break for complimentary drinks and nibbles everyone was invited to have a go at making something using flowers provided by the club.  It was a lovely evening and a few photos are below….